From the Desk of the Lay Director – Aug 2017

De Colores Community,

Many of you know that I recently embarked on a new journey in my career. Early this spring I was introduced to an amazing Christian family by a friend in Emmaus. I knew right away that there was something special about the people. And, after much prayer, I knew that I was being led to partner with them in an emerging industry unique to our area, the Texas wine industry. Over 90% of the wine grapes in Texas are produced right here on the South Plains of Texas in an area known as the Texas High Plains AVA (American Viticultural Area). As with any business or organization, we have experienced our share of ups and downs, but we have seen God’s hands at work as we have relied on Him for guidance and leadership in our daily work.

I joined the organization in late April and one of the first things that I saw reminded me of Jesus teaching in John 15:1-4

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”

The vines in our vineyard had been prepared for the 2017 season by an expert team of viticulturist who had pruned all of the growth from the previous season leaving a barren woody vine. Every branch that would not bear fruit for this year’s harvest was thrown away to wither on the ground. Soon, spring green shoots emerged on the vines and, before long, spring flowering began to fill the vineyard with beautiful greenery. Shortly thereafter the viticulturist returned and once again pruned the branches that would not bear fruit. This saddened me at first seeing how much of the greenery was taken away, but later I understood as the summer berry growth took over with abundance following the blessing of timely rains. Now we are poised for one of the most bountiful harvest in years. Recently, the viticulturist returned to protect the vineyard by applying netting over the fruit to keep the birds from stripping the vines. I simply cannot wait to see what comes from this year’s harvest.

As I think on the harvest to come, I am inclined to consider the fruit that is desirable to our Father in Heaven as shared in Galatians 5:13-26

Life by the Spirit
13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c]you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

My prayer for our community, and more especially for myself, is that we will bear fruit abundantly, living life by the spirit and pleasing our Father in Heaven.

In Christ love,

Rod Smith
Community Lay Director
Llano Estacado Emmaus

Upcoming Opportunities

August Community Gathering: August 3rd, St. Josephs – Slaton TX
Join us at 6:30pm for Women’s Walk #142 Sendoff at Mercy Center followed by Community Gathering. No meal – Please bring food agape for the walk!!!

Women’s Walk #142: August 3-6, Martha Harrison – Lay Director

Young Women’s Journey: August 31 – September 3, Susan Gillispie – Lay Director

Young Men’s Journey: September 14-17, Dustin Johnson – Lay Director

Men’s Walk #100: September 21-24, Glenn Campbell – Lay Director